Having to deal with a dental emergency while traveling or on vacation is no one’s idea of a fun time. You’ll need to find a dentist, maybe spend money you’d set aside for your holiday, and lose precious vacation time. Follow our tips below to save your vacation by helping to reduce the chance you’ll have dental problems on your trip and make it easier to manage if you do.
See your dentist before you go.
A pre-travel checkup can help identify and address any dental issues or emergencies that might be developing.
Find a dentist in your travel location.
If you have PPO dental insurance or a dental savings plan, you can typically visit any dentist in your plan’s network. Some HMO dental insurance plans may require approval from your primary provider before you can see another dentist or may not cover you outside of a specific region, so it’s a good idea to check your plan’s details. Suppose you do not have any dental plan. In that case, dental savings plans – an affordable alternative to dental insurance – can provide quick access to dental savings with same-day activation and savings available immediately.
Traveling out of the country?
Check your insurance or dental savings plan for details, but chances are you will have to pay out-of-pocket for dental costs outside of the U.S. You can call your insurance/plan provider to see if they have a process in place for out-of-country care. If not, you may want to look for travel medical and dental insurance if you feel it’s necessary. You can also research before your trip to find well-ranked dental emergency facilities and dentists in your travel location. If you didn’t plan ahead, suddenly need dental care and don’t know how to access it, you can contact the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate. They can help you find local dentists and medical services. You’ll probably also want to see your dentist when you get home.
Treat your teeth with care.
Be careful with your teeth to reduce the chances of a dental emergency while you’re on vacation. This is especially important if you have existing dental issues, or dental restorations like bridges, crowns, overlays or dentures. Avoid or be very careful when eating crunchy or sticky foods, (and popcorn) and make sure to keep up with your dental hygiene while on holiday. Forgot to pack your toothpaste? No worries, brushing your teeth is still an effective way to keep plaque from forming.
Don’t chew on ice.
Summer travel can leave you dehydrated and needing to cool down fast. Suddenly, chomping on few cubes of ice can seem like a really excellent idea. Don’t do it. Chewing ice can cause cracked and chipped teeth, damage to tooth enamel, problems with existing dental work such as fillings and crowns, and sore jaw muscles. You may also find your teeth become extremely sensitive to hot and cold drinks and foods, and are more prone to cavities
Learn basic dental first aid.
Knowing what to do if you experience a cracked, broken or chipped tooth can help reduce damage and restore the tooth more easily. Just remember that first aid is not a substitute for dental care. It’s what you do until you can see a dentist – ideally within 24 hours.
Being prepared for a dental emergency when traveling can help ensure you get the care you need without delay. Dental savings plans, an alternative to dental insurance, provide discounts of 10-60% on most dental procedures and have a network of more than 140,000 dentists and specialists nationwide. You can reach us at 1-833-735-0399 if you have any questions about dental savings plans or how they can help you save money during a dental emergency.